CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, September 13 – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 forged a partnership with Xavier University (XU) – Ateneo de Cagayan, through its College of Agriculture’s Development Communication Department for its ‘Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan’ (BIDA) Program to intensify its fight against illegal drugs in Northern Mindanao.

The pact was made through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing with Regional Director Wilhelm M. Suyko, CESO IV, representing DILG, and Fr. Mars P. Tan, SJ, representing XU.  

Student communicators as BIDA advocates

Through the partnership, XU DevCom students shall engage in the promotion of the program through the production of various BIDA-related Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials such as Public Service Announcement (PSA), Communication Plans, and Infographics and Poster materials, all aligned with their program courses for the first semester of SY 2023-2024.

The production of these information materials shall be used to promote and boost the BIDA campaign in the region and educate the people about the program’s existing activities and the ill effects of illegal drugs.

University President Tan underscored that the advocacy of the program is aligned with the University’s vision and mission to produce committed, conscientize, and passionate students, who are in its pursuit to ‘safeguard the people from harmful things like drugs’

“The program is a very important advocacy for the whole country and we are honored that we can contribute to this very big fight because this problem is also our problem,” he expressed.

Meanwhile, RD Suyko emphasized that youth involvement is a significant and strategic approach to further strengthen the advocacy of the program.

“We believe that our students could make a change and that they are our instruments in communicating effectively with the youth as well,” he said.

BIDA embodies Cura personalis

For Fr. Tan, the program is a living embodiment of Cura personalis – an Ignatian value of the Ateneo system that signifies concern and care for the personal development of the ‘whole person’ and dedication to promoting human dignity.  

“The program is really pro-life, pro-poor, and proactive […] XU is an institution that is committed to the mission not just to the church but also the whole society. We form our students to become good citizens,” he stressed.

Fr. Tan also expressed the University’s commitment to ‘ensure that the contract will be realized until its completion for the benefit and interest of everyone,’ he added.

At the end of the year, the DILG and the XU Development Communication Department shall organize an exhibit to showcase the produced materials in the region. (DILG ORD / M. Bacud)